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Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.455
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Number of Followers: 171  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0010-0277
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3160 journals]
  • The reality of hierarchical morphological structure in multimorphemic
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Yoonsang Song, Youngah Do, Jongbong Lee, Arthur L. Thompson, Eileen R. Waegemaekers This cross-modal priming study is one of the first to empirically test the long-held assumption that individual morphemes of multimorphemic words are represented according to a hierarchical structure. The results here support the psychological reality behind this assumption: Recognition of trimorphemic words (e.g., unkindness or [[un-[kind]]-ness]) was significantly facilitated by prior processing of their substrings when the substrings served as morphological constituents of the target words (e.g., unkind), but not when the substrings were not morphological constituents of the target words (e.g., kindness). This morphological structural priming occurred independently of the linear positions of morphological constituents.
  • Testing analogical rule transfer in pigeons (Columba livia)
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Muhammad A.J. Qadri, F. Gregory Ashby, J. David Smith, Robert G. Cook Categorization is an essential cognitive process useful for transferring knowledge from previous experience to novel situations. The mechanisms by which trained categorization behavior extends to novel stimuli, especially in animals, are insufficiently understood. To understand how pigeons learn and transfer category membership, seven pigeons were trained to classify controlled, bi-dimensional stimuli in a two-alternative forced-choice task. Following either dimensional, rule-based (RB) or information integration (II) training, tests were conducted focusing on the “analogical” extension of the learned discrimination to novel regions of the stimulus space (Casale, Roeder, & Ashby, 2012). The pigeons’ results mirrored those from human and non-human primates evaluated using the same analogical task structure, training and testing: the pigeons transferred their discriminative behavior to the new extended values following RB training, but not after II training. Further experiments evaluating rule-based models and association-based models suggested the pigeons use dimensions and associations to learn the task and mediate transfer to stimuli within the novel region of the parametric stimulus space.
  • Skilled readers’ sensitivity to meaningful regularities in English
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 December 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Anastasia Ulicheva, Hannah Harvey, Mark Aronoff, Kathleen Rastle Substantial research has been undertaken to understand the relationship between spelling and sound, but we know little about the relationship between spelling and meaning in alphabetic writing systems. We present a computational analysis of English writing in which we develop new constructs to describe this relationship. Diagnosticity captures the amount of meaningful information in a given spelling, whereas specificity estimates the degree of dispersion of this meaning across different spellings for a particular sound sequence. Using these two constructs, we demonstrate that particular suffix spellings tend to be reserved for particular meaningful functions. We then show across three paradigms (nonword classification, spelling, and eye tracking during sentence reading) that this form of regularity between spelling and meaning influences the behaviour of skilled readers, and that the degree of this behavioural sensitivity mirrors the strength of spelling-to-meaning regularities in the writing system. We close by arguing that English spelling may have become fractionated such that the high degree of spelling-sound inconsistency maximises the transmission of meaningful information.
  • The seeds of social learning: Infants exhibit more social looking for
           plants than other object types
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Claudia Elsner, Annie E. Wertz Infants must negotiate encounters with a wide variety of different entities over the course of the first few years of life, yet investigations of their social referencing behavior have largely focused on a limited set of objects and situations such as unfamiliar toys and the visual cliff. Here we examine whether infants’ social looking strategies differ when they are confronted with plants. Plants have been fundamental to human life throughout our evolutionary history, and learning about which plants are beneficial and which are dangerous is a task that, for humans, cannot be achieved alone. Using an object exploration paradigm, we found that 8- to 18-month-old infants exhibited more social looking toward adults when confronted with plants compared to other object types. Further, this increased social looking occurred when infants first encountered plants, in the time before touching them. This social looking strategy puts infants in the best position to glean information from others before making contact with potentially dangerous plants. These findings provide a new lens through which to view infants’ social information seeking behavior.
  • Selective maintenance of value information helps resolve the
           exploration/exploitation dilemma
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Michael N. Hallquist, Alexandre Y. Dombrovski In natural environments with many options of uncertain value, one faces a difficult tradeoff between exploiting familiar, valuable options or searching for better alternatives. Reinforcement learning models of this exploration/exploitation dilemma typically modulate the rate of exploratory choices or preferentially sample uncertain options. The extent to which such models capture human behavior remains unclear, in part because they do not consider the constraints on remembering what is learned.Using reinforcement-based timing as a motivating example, we show that selectively maintaining high-value actions compresses the amount of information to be tracked in learning, as quantified by Shannon's entropy. In turn, the information content of the value representation controls the balance between exploration (high entropy) and exploitation (low entropy). Selectively maintaining preferred action values while allowing others to decay renders the choices increasingly exploitative across learning episodes.To adjudicate among alternative maintenance and sampling strategies, we developed a new reinforcement learning model, StrategiC ExPloration/ExPloitation of Temporal Instrumental Contingencies (SCEPTIC). In computational studies, a resource-rational selective maintenance approach was as successful as more resource-intensive strategies. Furthermore, human behavior was consistent with selective maintenance; information compression was most pronounced in subjects with superior performance and non-verbal intelligence, and in learnable vs. unlearnable contingencies. Cognitively demanding uncertainty-directed exploration recovered a more accurate representation in simulations with no foraging advantage and was strongly unsupported in our human study.
  • Impact of characteristics of L1 literacy experience on picture processing:
           ERP data from trilingual non-native Chinese and English readers
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Yen Na Yum, Sam-Po Law Previous studies involving ex-illiterate and young readers of alphabetic scripts have shown that processing of non-verbal visual stimuli may be affected by literacy, which is attributable to intensive perceptual training during reading acquisition. This study examined whether the characteristics of one’s native writing system, with respect to visual complexity and overall shape of orthographic unit, would influence the processing of pictured objects using event-related potential (ERP) with linear mixed-effects modeling. Kanji and Hangul constitute an interesting contrast as they differ in visual complexity but are similar in orthographic shape. Neural responses to pictures were analyzed in N170 and N400 reflecting ease of recognition and access to semantic representation, respectively. Trilingual speakers with Japanese or Korean as L1, who learned to read Chinese and English as non-native languages, as well as native Chinese and native English readers participated in a repetition detection task in which mixed blocks of pictures and words (Chinese or English) were presented. The overall results showed bilaterally distributed N170 and N400, and group differences in the N400 were confined to the anterior region. More importantly, Japanese readers exhibited more negative N170 and less negative N400 than Korean participants regardless of language context. The present findings have provided insights into the possible impact of reading acquisition on non-linguistic visual processing, and suggest that one’s early experience of a visually complex orthography has positive transfer to processing of line drawings in terms of more efficient visual recognition and semantic access.
  • The impact of stimulus uncertainty on attentional control
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Christian Frings, Simon Merz, Bernhard Hommel We argue that stimulus uncertainty induces a cognitive state that can be linked to a concept that has been formerly described as ‘curiosity’ (Berlyne, 1949) – a state that motivates the agent to reduce the uncertainty by exploring it. In two attention filtering tasks we varied response compatibility and stimulus congruency. In addition, we manipulated whether stimulus congruency was predictable or random. In conditions with random presentation the impact of congruency on compatibility was more pronounced suggesting that stimulus congruency was processed more strongly in a random environment. While this makes no sense from a short term strategic perspective in the laboratory, this allocation of attention to uncertain stimulus conditions makes perfect sense outside the laboratory. The impact of uncertainty on attentional control should not be considered a leakage but rather an investment into possible future opportunities.
  • Contrast and entailment: Abstract logical relations constrain how 2- and
           3-year-old children interpret unknown numbers
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Roman Feiman, Joshua K. Hartshorne, David Barner Do children understand how different numbers are related before they associate them with specific cardinalities' We explored how children rely on two abstract relations – contrast and entailment – to reason about the meanings of ‘unknown’ number words. Previous studies argue that, because children give variable amounts when asked to give an unknown number, all unknown numbers begin with an existential meaning akin to some. In Experiment 1, we tested an alternative hypothesis, that because numbers belong to a scale of contrasting alternatives, children assign them a meaning distinct from some. In the “Don’t Give-a-Number task”, children were shown three kinds of fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries), and asked to not give either some or a number of one kind (e.g. Give everything, but not [some/five] bananas). While children tended to give zero bananas when asked to not give some, they gave positive amounts when asked to not give numbers. This suggests that contrast – plus knowledge of a number’s membership in a count list – enables children to differentiate the meanings of unknown number words from the meaning of some. Experiment 2 tested whether children’s interpretation of unknown numbers is further constrained by understanding numerical entailment relations – that if someone, e.g. has three, they thereby also have two, but if they do not have three, they also do not have four. On critical trials, children saw two characters with different quantities of fish, two apart (e.g. 2 vs. 4), and were asked about the number in-between – who either has or doesn’t have, e.g. three. Children picked the larger quantity for the affirmative, and the smaller for the negative prompts even when all the numbers were unknown, suggesting that they understood that, whatever three means, a larger quantity is more likely to contain that many, and a smaller quantity is more likely not to. We conclude by discussing how contrast and entailment could help children scaffold the exact meanings of unknown number words.
  • Political cognition helps explain social class divides: Two dimensions of
           candidate impressions, group stereotypes, and meritocracy beliefs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 November 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Susan T. Fiske Political cognitions—particularly impressions and stereotypes along two fundamental dimensions of social evaluations—play some role in explaining social class divides and accompanying resentments. First, the Big Two dimensions (warmth/communion and competence/agency) describe candidate perception, person perception, and group stereotypes. In particular, the stereotype content model and related perspectives show social-class stereotypes depicting elites as competent but cold and lower-income groups as incompetent but warm. This trade-off justifies the system as meritocractic, because elites’ stereotypic competence supports their status based on deservingness. Nevertheless, varied evidence (from social psychology, political science, and sociology) indicates common beliefs that support cross-class resentments: In particular, many citizens express political resentment both downward (toward cheats) and upward (toward elites). In this context, backlash against the system results. Anticipated by systematic theories, these political cognitions (impressions, stereotypes, beliefs) help explain the populist and nativist resentments in current political discourse; all support polarized, dysfunctional politics.
  • Cross-situational and ostensive word learning in children with and without
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Courtney E. Venker Numerous experimental studies have shown that infants and children can discover word meanings by using co-occurrences between labels and objects across individually ambiguous contexts—a phenomenon known as cross-situational learning. Like typically developing children, high-functioning school aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are capable of cross-situational learning. However, it is not yet clear whether cross-situational learning is similarly available to children with ASD who are younger and show a broader range of language and cognitive abilities. Using eye-tracking methodology, the current study provided the first evidence that preschool and early school-aged children with ASD can rely on cross-situational statistics to learn new words. In fact, children with ASD learned as well as typically developing children with similar vocabulary knowledge. In both groups, the children with the highest cross-situational learning accuracy were those who showed the best familiar word processing skills. Surprisingly, children in both groups learned words equally well in the cross-situational task and an ostensive word-learning task, which presented only a single label-object pairing at a time. In combination, these results point to similarities in the word learning abilities available to typically developing children and children with ASD.
  • Why wait for the verb' Turkish speaking children use case markers for
           incremental language comprehension
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Duygu Özge, Aylin Küntay, Jesse Snedeker During language comprehension we must rapidly determine the thematic roles of arguments (who did what to whom) in order to semantically integrate the players into a single event and predict upcoming structure. While some languages signal these relations mostly with reliable word order, others rely more on case markers. The present study explores whether Turkish-speaking children use case marking predictively during online language comprehension. Specifically, we use the visual-world paradigm to test whether 4-year-olds (and adults) can use a contrast between nominative and accusative case on the first noun to predict the referent of the second noun in verb-medial and verb-final spoken sentences. In verb-medial sentences, both children and adults used case to predict the upcoming noun, but children did so only after hearing the verb. In verb-final structures, however, both children and adults made predictive looks to the correct referent prior to the second noun (and the verb). Thus, Turkish-speaking preschoolers interpret case marking incrementally, independent of the verb, and use it to anticipate the upcoming argument. These findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis that the online interpretation of case marking depends on a late maturing neural circuit. The predictive use of case at four provides strong evidence that children's comprehension relies on broad, abstract mappings between syntax and semantics, which allow children to determine the event role of a case marked argument prior to identifying the verb.
  • Spending too little in hard times
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Alessandro Del Ponte, Peter DeScioli People’s decisions to consume and save resources are critical to their wellbeing. Previous experiments find that people typically spend too much because of how they discount the future. We propose that people’s motive to preserve their savings can instead cause them to spend too little in hard times. We design an economic game in which participants can store resources for the future to survive in a harsh environment. A player’s income is uncertain and consumption yields diminishing returns within each day, creating tradeoffs between spending and saving. We compare participants’ decisions to a heuristic that performed best in simulations. We find that participants spent too much after windfalls in income, consistent with previous research, but they also spent too little after downturns, supporting the resource preservation hypothesis. In Experiment 2, we find that by varying the income stream, the downturn effect can be isolated from the windfall effect. In Experiments 3–4, we find the same downturn effect in games with financial and political themes.
  • The affective twitches of task switches: Task switch cues are evaluated as
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Luc Vermeylen, Senne Braem, Wim Notebaert Task switching refers to the demanding cognitive control process that allows us to flexibly switch between different task contexts. It is a seminal observation that task switching comes with a performance cost (i.e., switch cost), but recent theories suggest that task switching could also carry an affective cost. In two experiments, we investigated the affective evaluation of task switching by having participants perform a task-switching paradigm followed by an affective priming procedure. Crucially, the transition cues of the task-switching paradigm, indicating task alternations or task repetitions, were used as primes in the affective priming procedure to assess their affective connotation. We found that task alternation primes were evaluated as more negative than task repetition primes. These findings show that task switching is affectively tagged, and suggest a potential role for emotion regulation processes in cognitive control.
  • Independent contribution of perceptual experience and social cognition to
           face recognition
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Linoy Schwartz, Galit Yovel Faces convey rich perceptual and social information. The contribution of perceptual and social information to face recognition has been typically examined in separate experiments. Here, we take a comprehensive approach by studying the contributions of both perceptual experience and social-conceptual information to face learning within the same experimental design. The effect of perceptual experience was examined by systematically varying the similarity between the learned and test face views. Social information was manipulated by asking participants to make social, perceptual, or no evaluations on faces during learning. Results show better recognition for the learned views, which declines as a function of the dissimilarity between the learned and unlearned views. Additionally, processing faces as social concepts produced a general gain in performance of a similar magnitude for both the learned and unlearned views. We concluded that both social-conceptual and perceptual information contribute to face recognition but through complementary, independent mechanisms. These findings highlight the importance of considering both cognition and perception to obtain comprehensive understanding of face recognition.
  • Nonlinear decision weights or moment-based preferences' A model
           competition involving described and experienced skewness
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Leonidas Spiliopoulos, Ralph Hertwig The predictive power of cumulative prospect theory and expected utility theory is typically compared using decisions from description, where lotteries’ outcome values and probabilities are explicitly stated. In decisions from experience, individuals sample (in the sampling paradigm without cost) from the return distributions to learn outcome values and their relative frequencies; here cumulative prospect theory and expected utility theory require the calculation of probabilities from experience. Individuals, however, may be more attuned to the experienced moments of outcome distributions, rather than the probabilities. We therefore test the mean–variance–skewness model, and retrieve the proportion of expected utility theory (over income), cumulative prospect theory, and mean–variance–skewness populations using a latent-class hierarchical Bayesian model across six large datasets. For simple lotteries (with 1–2 outcomes), we find a mixture of cumulative prospect theory and mean–variance–skewness populations in decisions from both description and experience. For more complex lotteries (with 2–3 outcomes), all participants are classified as cumulative prospect theory types in decisions from description, but as mean–variance–skewness types in decisions from experience. This suggests that in decisions from experience with more complex return distributions, preferences for skewness are more predictive than nonlinear probability weighting.
  • Facial expressions of authenticity: Emotion variability increases
           judgments of trustworthiness and leadership
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Michael L. Slepian, Evan W. Carr People automatically generate first impressions from others’ faces, even with limited time and information. Most research on social face evaluation focuses on static morphological features that are embedded “in the face” (e.g., overall average of facial features, masculinity/femininity, cues related to positivity/negativity, etc.). Here, we offer the first investigation of how variability in facial emotion affects social evaluations. Participants evaluated targets that, over time, displayed either high-variability or low-variability distributions of positive (happy) and/or negative (angry/fearful/sad) facial expressions, despite the overall averages of those facial features always being the same across conditions. We found that high-variability led to consistently positive perceptions of authenticity, and thereby, judgments of perceived happiness, trustworthiness, leadership, and team-member desirability. We found these effects were based specifically in variability in emotional displays (not intensity of emotion), and specifically increased the positivity of social judgments (not their extremity). Overall, people do not merely average or summarize over facial expressions to arrive at a judgment, but instead also draw inferences from the variability of those expressions.
  • A model for discovering ‘containment’ relations
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Shimon Ullman, Nimrod Dorfman, Daniel Harari Rapid developments in the fields of learning and object recognition have been obtained by successfully developing and using methods for learning from a large number of labeled image examples. However, such current methods cannot explain infants’ learning of new concepts based on their visual experience, in particular, the ability to learn complex concepts without external guidance, as well as the natural order in which related concepts are acquired. A remarkable example of early visual learning is the category of 'containers' and the notion of ‘containment’. Surprisingly, this is one of the earliest spatial relations to be learned, starting already around 3 month of age, and preceding other common relations (e.g., ‘support’, ‘in-between’). In this work we present a model, which explains infants’ capacity of learning ‘containment’ and related concepts by ‘just looking’, together with their empirical development trajectory. Learning occurs in the model fast and without external guidance, relying only on perceptual processes that are present in the first months of life. Instead of labeled training examples, the system provides its own internal supervision to guide the learning process. We show how the detection of so-called ‘paradoxical occlusion’ provides natural internal supervision, which guides the system to gradually acquire a range of useful containment-related concepts. Similar mechanisms of using implicit internal supervision can have broad application in other cognitive domains as well as artificial intelligent systems, because they alleviates the need for supplying extensive external supervision, and because they can guide the learning process to extract concepts that are meaningful to the observer, even if they are not by themselves obvious, or salient in the input.
  • No luck for moral luck
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Markus Kneer, Edouard Machery Moral philosophers and psychologists often assume that people judge morally lucky and morally unlucky agents differently, an assumption that stands at the heart of the Puzzle of Moral Luck. We examine whether the asymmetry is found for reflective intuitions regarding wrongness, blame, permissibility, and punishment judgments, whether people’s concrete, case-based judgments align with their explicit, abstract principles regarding moral luck, and what psychological mechanisms might drive the effect. Our experiments produce three findings: First, in within-subjects experiments favorable to reflective deliberation, the vast majority of people judge a lucky and an unlucky agent as equally blameworthy, and their actions as equally wrong and permissible. The philosophical Puzzle of Moral Luck, and the challenge to the very possibility of systematic ethics it is frequently taken to engender, thus simply do not arise. Second, punishment judgments are significantly more outcome-dependent than wrongness, blame, and permissibility judgments. While this constitutes evidence in favor of current Dual Process Theories of moral judgment, the latter need to be qualified: punishment and blame judgments do not seem to be driven by the same process, as is commonly argued in the literature. Third, in between-subjects experiments, outcome has an effect on all four types of moral judgments. This effect is mediated by negligence ascriptions and can ultimately be explained as due to differing probability ascriptions across cases.
  • Scenes enable a sense of reliving: Implications for autobiographical
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): David C. Rubin, Samantha A. Deffler, Sharda Umanath Autobiographical memory has been defined by the phenomenological properties of reliving, vividness, and belief that an event occurred. Neuropsychological damage that results in the inability to recall the layout of a scene also results in amnesia suggesting a possible milder effect in people without such neurological damage. Based on this and other observations, we hypothesized that the degree to which the layout of a scene is recalled will correlate positively with ratings of reliving, vividness, and belief, and will explain more variance in multiple regressions than recalling the scene’s contents. We also hypothesized that a lack of layout underlies nonspecific autobiographical memories which are common in aging, future events, and clinical disorders, whereas currently such memories are most commonly measured by reports of extended duration. We tested these theory-driven novel hypotheses in three studies to replicate our results. In each study, approximately 200 participants rated the layout, content, and other properties of personal events. Correlational analyses in each study and a structural equation model for the combined studies provide strong support for the role of mental scene construction in an integrative neurocognitive approach to clarify cognitive theory and clinical phenomena.
  • Unfolding meaning in context: The dynamics of conceptual similarity
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Jelena Mirković, Gerry T.M. Altmann How are relationships between concepts affected by the interplay between short-term contextual constraints and long-term conceptual knowledge' Across two studies we investigate the consequence of changes in visual context for the dynamics of conceptual processing. Participants’ eye movements were tracked as they viewed a visual depiction of e.g. a canary in a birdcage (Experiment 1), or a canary and three unrelated objects, each in its own quadrant (Experiment 2). In both studies participants heard either a semantically and contextually similar “robin” (a bird; similar size), an equally semantically similar but not contextually similar “stork” (a bird; bigger than a canary, incompatible with the birdcage), or unrelated “tent”. The changing patterns of fixations across time indicated first, that the visual context strongly influenced the eye movements such that, in the context of a birdcage, early on (by word offset) hearing “robin” engendered more looks to the canary than hearing “stork” or “tent” (which engendered the same number of looks), unlike in the context of unrelated objects (in which case “robin” and “stork” engendered equivalent looks to the canary, and more than did “tent”). Second, within the 500 ms post-word-offset eye movements in both experiments converged onto a common pattern (more looks to the canary after “robin” than after “stork”, and for both more than after “tent”). We interpret these findings as indicative of the dynamics of activation within semantic memory accessed via pictures and via words, and reflecting the complex interaction between systems representing context-independent and context-dependent conceptual knowledge driven by predictive processing.
  • Mature counterfactual reasoning in 4- and 5-year-olds
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Angela Nyhout, Patricia A. Ganea Counterfactual reasoning is a hallmark of the human imagination. Recently, researchers have argued that children do not display genuine counterfactual reasoning until they can reason about events that are overdetermined and consider the removal of one of multiple causes that lead to the same outcome. This ability has been shown to emerge between 6 and 12 years of age. In 3 experiments, we used an overdetermined physical causation task to investigate preschoolers’ ability to reason counterfactually. In Experiment 1a, preschoolers (N = 96) were presented with a “blicket-detector” machine. Children saw both overdetermined (2 causal blocks on a box) and single-cause trials (1 causal and 1 non-causal block) and were asked what would have happened if one of the two blocks had not been placed on the box. Four-year-olds' performance was above chance on both trial types, and 5-year-olds' performance was at ceiling, whereas 3-year-olds did not perform above chance on any trial types. These findings were replicated in Experiment 1b with 4- and 5-year-olds (N = 40) using more complex question wording. In Experiment 2 (N = 40, 4- and 5-year-olds), we introduced a temporal delay between the placement of the first and second block to test the robustness of children's counterfactual reasoning. Even on this more difficult version of the task, performance was significantly above chance. Given a clear and novel causal structure, preschoolers display adult-like counterfactual reasoning.
  • How bilinguals perceive speech depends on which language they think
           they’re hearing
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Kalim Gonzales, Krista Byers-Heinlein, Andrew J. Lotto Bilinguals understand when the communication context calls for speaking a particular language and can switch from speaking one language to speaking the other based on such conceptual knowledge. There is disagreement regarding whether conceptually-based language selection is also possible in the listening modality. For example, can bilingual listeners perceptually adjust to changes in pronunciation across languages based on their conceptual understanding of which language they’re currently hearing' We asked French- and Spanish-English bilinguals to identify nonsense monosyllables as beginning with /b/ or /p/, speech categories that French and Spanish speakers pronounce differently than English speakers. We conceptually cued each bilingual group to one of their two languages or the other by explicitly instructing them that the speech items were word onsets in that language, uttered by a native speaker thereof. Both groups adjusted their /b–p/ identification boundary as a function of this conceptual cue to the language context. These results support a bilingual model permitting conceptually-based language selection on both the speaking and listening end of a communicative exchange.
  • Local contour symmetry facilitates scene categorization
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): John Wilder, Morteza Rezanejad, Sven Dickinson, Kaleem Siddiqi, Allan Jepson, Dirk B. Walther People are able to rapidly categorize briefly flashed images of real-world environments, even when they are reduced to line drawings. This setting allows for the study of time-limited perceptual grouping processes in the human visual system that are applicable to line drawings. Previous work (Wilder, Dickinson, Jepson, & Walther, 2018) showed that standard local features of individual contours, or junctions between contours, do not account for this rapid classification ability but, rather, the relative placement of these contours appeared to be important. Here we provide strong support for this observation by demonstrating that local ribbon symmetry between neighboring pairs of contours facilitates the categorization of complex real-world environments. To this end, we introduce a novel computational approach, based on the medial axis transform, for measuring the degree of local ribbon symmetry in a line drawing. We use this measure to separate the contour pixels for a given scene into the most ribbon symmetric half and the least ribbon symmetric half. We then show human observers the resulting half-images in a rapid-categorization experiment. Our results demonstrate that local ribbon symmetry facilitates the categorization of complex real-world environments. This is the first study of the role of local symmetry in inter-contour grouping for human scene classification. We conclude that local ribbon symmetry appears to play an important role in jump-starting the grouping of image content into meaningful units, even in flashed presentations.
  • Hearing me hearing you: Reciprocal effects between child and parent
           language in autism and typical development
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 183Author(s): Riccardo Fusaroli, Ethan Weed, Deborah Fein, Letitia Naigles Language development in typically developing children (TD) has traditionally been investigated in relation to environmental factors, while language in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has primarily been related to child-based factors. We employ a longitudinal corpus of 32 preschoolers with ASD and 35 linguistically matched TD peers recorded over 6 visits (ranging between 2 and 5 years of age) to investigate the relative importance of child-based and environmental factors in language development for both populations. We also investigate the reciprocal interaction between children’s response to parents’ input, and parents’ response to children’s production. We report six major findings. (1) Children’s production of word types, tokens, and MLU increased across visits, and were predicted by their Expressive Language (EL) (positively) and diagnosis (negatively) from Visit 1. (2) Parents’ production also increased across visits, and was predicted by their child’s nonverbal cognition (positively) and diagnosis (negatively) from Visit 1. (3) At all visits and across groups, children and parents matched each other in lexical and syntactic production; (4) Parents who produced longer MLUs during a given visit had children who produced more word types and tokens, and had longer MLUs, at the subsequent visit. (5) When both child EL at Visit 1 and parent MLU were included in the model, both contributed significantly to future child language; however, EL accounted for a greater proportion of the variance. (6) Finally, children’s speech significantly predicted parent speech at the next visit. Taken together, these results draw more attention to the importance of child-based factors in the early language development of TD children, and to the importance of parental language factors in the early language development of children with ASD.
  • The spillover effects of attentional learning on value-based choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Rachael Gwinn, Andrew B. Leber, Ian Krajbich What role does attention play in decision-making' Prior research has demonstrated a link between visual attention and value-based choice, but the direction of causality is still unclear. Here we aimed to demonstrate that attention has a causal influence on choice. We tested whether spatially biasing attention in a visual search task would produce choice biases in a later choice task. We ran four experiments where the search target was more likely to appear on one “rich” side of the screen. In the subsequent choice tasks, participants were more likely to choose items appearing on the rich side and the average choice bias depended on how well participants learned the regularity in the search task. Additionally, eye-tracking data revealed a first-fixation bias toward the rich side, which in turn influenced choices. Taken together, these results provide novel support for a causal effect of attention on choice.
  • Negation markers inhibit motor routines during typing of manual action
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Enrique García-Marco, Yurena Morera, David Beltrán, Manuel de Vega, Eduar Herrera, Lucas Sedeño, Agustín Ibáñez, Adolfo M. García We explored whether negation markers recruit inhibitory mechanisms during keyboard-based action-verb typing. In each trial, participants read two sentences: the first featured a context (There is a contract) and the second ended with a relevant verb which had to be immediately typed. Crucially, the verb could describe manual actions, non-manual actions or non-motor processes, with either affirmative (You do sign it) or negative (You don’t sign it) polarity. We assessed the impact of verb type and polarity on two typing dimensions: motor programming (lapse between target onset and first keystroke) and motor execution (lapse between first and last keystroke). Negation yielded no effect on motor planning, but it selectively delayed typing execution for manual-action verbs, irrespective of the subjects’ typing skills. This suggests that processing negations during comprehension of manual-action sentences recruits inhibitory mechanisms acting on same-effector movements. Our novel finding extends embodied models of language and effector-specific motor-language integration.
  • What do you know' ERP evidence for immediate use of common ground
           during online reference resolution
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Les Sikos, Samuel B. Tomlinson, Conor Heins, Daniel J. Grodner Recent evidence on the time-course of conversational perspective taking is mixed. Some results suggest that listeners rapidly incorporate an interlocutor’s knowledge during comprehension, while other findings suggest that listeners initially interpret language egocentrically. A key finding in support of the egocentric view comes from visual-world eye-tracking studies — listeners systematically look at potential referents that are known to them but unknown to the speaker. An alternative explanation is that eye movements might be driven by attentional processes that are unrelated to referent identification. To address this question, we assessed the time-course of perspective taking using event-related potentials (ERP). Participants were instructed to select a referent from a display of four animals (e.g., “Click on the brontosaurus with the boots”) by a speaker who could only see three of the animals. A competitor (e.g., a brontosaurus with a purse) was either mutually visible, visible only to the listener, or absent from the display. Results showed that only the mutually visible competitor elicited an ERP signature of referential ambiguity. Critically, ERPs exhibited no evidence of referential confusion when the listener had privileged access to the competitor. Contra the egocentric hypothesis, this pattern of results indicates that listeners did not consider privileged competitors to be candidates for reference. These findings are consistent with theories of language processing that allow socio-pragmatic information to rapidly influence online language comprehension. The results also suggest that eye-tracking evidence in studies of online reference resolution may include distraction effects driven by privileged competitors and highlight the importance of using multiple measures to investigate perspective use.
  • Model of Multiple Identity Tracking (MOMIT) 2.0: Resolving the serial vs.
           parallel controversy in tracking
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Jie Li, Lauri Oksama, Jukka Hyönä The present study investigated whether during tracking of multiple moving objects with distinct identities only one identity is tracked at each moment (serial tracking) or whether multiple identities can be tracked simultaneously (parallel tracking). By adopting the gaze-contingent display change technique, we manipulated in real time the presence/absence of object identities during tracking. The data on performance accuracy revealed a serial tracking pattern for facial images and a parallel pattern for color discs: when tracking faces, the presence/absence of only the currently foveated identity impacted the performance, whereas when tracking colors, the presence of multiple identities across the visual field led to improved tracking performance. This pattern is consistent with the identifiability of the different types of objects in the visual field. The eye movements during MIT showed a bias towards visiting and dwelling on individual targets when facial identities were present and towards visiting the blank areas between targets when color identities were present. Nevertheless, the eye visits were predominately on individual targets regardless of the type of objects and the presence of object identities. The eye visits to targets were beneficial for target tracking, particularly in face tracking. We propose the Model of Multiple Identity Tracking (MOMIT) 2.0 which accounts for the results and reconcile the serial vs. parallel controversy. The model suggests that observers cooperatively use attention, eye movements, perception, and working memory for dynamic tracking. Tracking appears more serial when high-resolution information needs to be sampled and maintained for discriminating the targets, whereas it appears more parallel when low-resolution information is sufficient.
  • Reduced multisensory integration of self-initiated stimuli
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 October 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Björn Zierul, Jonathan Tong, Patrick Bruns, Brigitte Röder The processing and perception of stimuli is altered when these stimuli are not passively presented but rather are actively triggered, or “self-initiated”, by the participants. For unimodal stimuli, perceptual changes in stimulus timing and intensity have been demonstrated. Initial results have suggested that self-initiation may affect multisensory processing as well. The present study examined the effects of self-initiation on audiovisual integration in the ventriloquism effect (VE), that is, the mislocalization of auditory stimuli toward a spatially displaced visual stimulus. The effects of self-initiation on the VE were investigated with audiovisual stimuli that featured varying degrees of spatial and temporal separation. Stimuli were either triggered by the participants’ button press or not, and stimulus onsets were either predictable or not. Arguing from the perspective of Bayesian causal inference models, we hypothesized self-initiation to increase the prior probability of two stimuli being integrated. Contrary to this intuitive assumption, less VE was observed when the stimuli were self-initiated by the participants than when they were externally generated. Since no effects of self-initiation on unimodal processing were observed, these effects must specifically pertain to multisensory processes. Finally, data were fit with a causal inference model, where self-initiation was associated with a reduction of the prior probability to integrate audiovisual stimuli. In conclusion, the presence of a self-initiated motor signal influences audiovisual integration, such that auditory localization is less biased by visual stimuli, which likely depends on top-down signals.
  • Forecasting tournaments, epistemic humility and attitude depolarization
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 October 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Barbara Mellers, Philip Tetlock, Hal R. Arkes People often express political opinions in starkly dichotomous terms, such as “Trump will either trigger a ruinous trade war or save U.S. factory workers from disaster.” This mode of communication promotes polarization into ideological in-groups and out-groups. We explore the power of an emerging methodology, forecasting tournaments, to encourage clashing factions to do something odd: to translate their beliefs into nuanced probability judgments and track accuracy over time and questions. In theory, tournaments advance the goals of “deliberative democracy” by incentivizing people to be flexible belief updaters whose views converge in response to facts, thus depolarizing unnecessarily polarized debates. We examine the hypothesis that, in the process of thinking critically about their beliefs, tournament participants become more moderate in their own political attitudes and those they attribute to the other side. We view tournaments as belonging to a broader class of psychological inductions that increase epistemic humility and that include asking people to explore alternative perspectives, probing the depth of their cause-effect understanding and holding them accountable to audiences with difficult-to-guess views.
  • Prior expectation of objects in space is dependent on the direction of
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Brian Odegaard, Ulrik R. Beierholm, Jason Carpenter, Ladan Shams Many studies of multisensory spatial localization have shown that observers’ responses are well-characterized by Bayesian inference, as localization judgments are influenced not only by the reliability of sensory encoding, but expectations about where things occur in space. Here, we investigate the frame of reference for the prior expectation of objects in space. Using an audiovisual localization task, we systematically manipulate fixation position and evaluate whether this prior is encoded in an eye-centered, head-centered, or hybrid frame of reference. Results show that in a majority of participants, this prior is encoded in an eye-centered frame of reference.
  • How metacontrol biases and adaptivity impact performance in cognitive
           search tasks
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Vera N. Mekern, Zsuzsika Sjoerds, Bernhard Hommel Cognitive control requires a balance between persistence and flexibility. We studied inter- and intraindividual differences in the metacontrol bias towards persistence or flexibility in cognitive search tasks from various cognitive domains that require continuous switching between persistence and flexibility. For each task, clustering and switching scores were derived to assess persistence and flexibility, respectively, as well as a total performance score to reflect general performance. We compared two, not mutually exclusive accounts according to which the balance between clustering and switching scores is affected by (1) individual, trait-like metacontrol biases towards persistence or flexibility and/or (2) the metacontrol adaptivity to bias states according to changing situational demands. We found that clustering and switching scores failed to generalize across tasks. However, clustering and switching were inversely related and predicted the total performance scores in most of the tasks, which in turn partially generalized across tasks and task domains. We conclude that metacontrol-biases towards persistence or flexibility can be adapted easily to specific task demands and individual resources, possibly overwriting individual metacontrol trait biases. Moreover, we suggest that total performance scores might serve to measure metacontrol adaptivity in future studies if task-restrictions and resources are known and/or well balanced.
  • It takes me back: The mnemonic time-travel effect
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Aleksandar Aksentijevic, Kaz R. Brandt, Elias Tsakanikos, Michael J.A. Thorpe Given the links between motion and temporal thinking, it is surprising that no studies have examined the possibility that transporting participants back mentally towards the time of encoding could improve memory. Six experiments investigated whether backward motion would promote recall relative to forward motion or no-motion conditions. Participants saw a video of a staged crime (Experiments 1, 3 and 5), a word list (Experiments 2 and 4) or a set of pictures (Experiment 6). Then, they walked forward or backwards (Experiments 1 and 2), watched a forward- or backward-directed optic flow-inducing video (Experiments 3 and 4) or imagined walking forward or backwards (Experiments 5 and 6). Finally, they answered questions about the video or recalled words or pictures. The results demonstrated for the first time that motion-induced past-directed mental time travel improved mnemonic performance for different types of information. We briefly discuss theoretical and practical implications of this “mnemonic time-travel effect”.
  • Is imagining a voice like listening to it' Evidence from ERPs
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Peiyun Zhou, Susan Garnsey, Kiel Christianson Readers who have seen the Harry Potter movies before reading the novels may “hear” actors' voices in their heads when they later read the books. This phenomenon of mentally simulating the voice of speakers depicted in texts has been referred to as auditory perceptual simulation (APS). How much is this mental simulation of voices like listening to actual voices' Two event-related potential (ERP) experiments examined the auditory perceptual simulation of native and non-native English speech while participants silently read English sentences containing subject-verb agreement errors or pronoun-case errors. The aim was to compare readers’ ERPs when imagining native and non-native speech to the results of Hanulíková, van Alphen, van Goch, and Weber (2012), who recorded ERPs while participants listened to native and non-native speech and found that native-speaking listeners “forgive” errors (signaled by reduced P600 effects) by non-native speakers. Our participants listened to samples of a native and a non-native English speaker's speech and were then asked to imagine the voice of either one or the other speaker while reading sentences. Results revealed differences in N400 and P600 waveforms when imagining the non-native speaker's voice compared to the native speaker's voice. Importantly, when imagining the non-native speaker committing subject-verb agreement errors, P600 amplitudes were no different from error-free items.
  • Actively open-minded thinking in politics
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 October 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Jonathan Baron The concept of actively open-minded thinking (AOT) provides standards for evaluation of thinking, which apply both to our own thinking and to the thinking of others. AOT is important for good citizenship for three reasons: it provides a prescription for individual thinking about political decisions; it serves as a social norm (when others agree); and, perhaps most importantly, it provides a standard for knowing which sources to trust, including politicians and pundits. I provide a current account of AOT as a general prescriptive theory that defines a standard or norm for all thinking, with emphasis on its role in the judgment of the thinking of others, and in maintaining appropriate confidence. I also contrast AOT with other standards. AOT does not assume that more thinking is always better, and it implies that low confidence in the results of thinking is often warranted and beneficial. I discuss the measurement of AOT and its relation to politics. Finally, I report two preliminary studies of AOT in judgments of others thoughts, and the role of confidence.
  • Re-thinking Cognition’s Open Data Policy: Responding to Hardwicke and
           colleagues’ evaluation of its impact
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 October 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Manos Tsakiris, Randi Martin, Johan Wagemans
  • The kinematics that you do not expect: Integrating prior information and
           kinematics to understand intentions
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Atesh Koul, Marco Soriano, Barbara Tversky, Cristina Becchio, Andrea Cavallo Expectations facilitate perception of expected stimuli but may hinder perception of unexpected alternatives. Here, we consider how prior expectations about others’ intentions are integrated with visual kinematics over time in detecting the intention of an observed motor act (grasp-to-pour vs. grasp-to-drink). Using rigorous psychophysics methods, we find that the processes of ascribing intentions to others are well described by drift diffusion models in which evidence from observed movements is accumulated over time until a decision threshold is reached. Testing of competing models revealed that when kinematics contained no discriminative intention information, prior expectations predicted the intention choice of the observer. When kinematics contained intention information, kinematics predicted the intention choice. These findings provide evidence for a diffusion process in which the influence of expectations is modulated by movement informativeness and informative kinematics can override initial expectations.
  • What explains sex differences in math anxiety' A closer look at the
           role of spatial processing
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): H. Moriah Sokolowski, Zachary Hawes, Ian M. Lyons A large body of research has documented that females experience more math anxiety than males. Researchers have identified many factors that might explain the relation between sex and math anxiety. In the current study, we present a novel theoretical framework that highlights the importance of examining multiple aspects of processing across different cognitive domains. We use this framework to address the question of what best explains sex differences in math anxiety. One hundred and seventy-five undergraduate students completed a battery of cognitive tasks and affect questionnaires intended to measure actual math ability, perceived math ability, math anxiety, actual spatial ability, perceived spatial ability, and anxiety about situations requiring spatial mental manipulation (spatial anxiety). Results revealed that processes within the spatial domain but not in the mathematical domain mediated the relation between sex and math anxiety, controlling for general anxiety and cognitive ability. Moreover, within the spatial domain, spatial anxiety was the strongest mediator between sex and math anxiety, over actual and perceived spatial ability. Our findings point to spatial anxiety as a key contributor to the commonly reported sex differences in math anxiety. We conclude by raising the possibility that sex differences in math anxiety, may be rooted in sex-related differences in anxiety about or avoidance of spatial strategies in solving mathematical tasks.
  • Epistemic spillovers: Learning others’ political views reduces the
           ability to assess and use their expertise in nonpolitical domains
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 October 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Joseph Marks, Eloise Copland, Eleanor Loh, Cass R. Sunstein, Tali Sharot On political questions, many people prefer to consult and learn from those whose political views are similar to their own, thus creating a risk of echo chambers or information cocoons. We test whether the tendency to prefer knowledge from the politically like-minded generalizes to domains that have nothing to do with politics, even when evidence indicates that politically like-minded people are less skilled in those domains than people with dissimilar political views. Participants had multiple opportunities to learn about others’ (1) political opinions and (2) ability to categorize geometric shapes. They then decided to whom to turn for advice when solving an incentivized shape categorization task. We find that participants falsely concluded that politically like-minded others were better at categorizing shapes and thus chose to hear from them. Participants were also more influenced by politically like-minded others, even when they had good reason not to be. These results replicate in two independent samples. The findings demonstrate that knowing about others’ political views interferes with the ability to learn about their competency in unrelated tasks, leading to suboptimal information-seeking decisions and errors in judgement. Our findings have implications for political polarization and social learning in the midst of political divisions.
  • The roles of action selection and actor selection in joint task settings
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Motonori Yamaguchi, Helen J. Wall, Bernhard Hommel Studies on joint task performance have proposed that co-acting individuals co-represent the shared task context, which implies that actors integrate their co-actor’s task components into their own task representation as if they were all their own task. This proposal has been supported by results of joint tasks in which each actor is assigned a single response where selecting a response is equivalent to selecting an actor. The present study used joint task switching, which has previously shown switch costs on trials following the actor’s own trial (intrapersonal switch costs) but not on trials that followed the co-actor’s trial (interpersonal switch costs), suggesting that there is no task co-representation. We examined whether interpersonal switch costs can be obtained when action selection and actor selection are confounded as in previous joint task studies. The present results confirmed this prediction, demonstrating that switch costs can occur within a single actor as well as between co-actors when there is only a single response per actor, but not when there are two responses per actor. These results indicate that task co-representation is not necessarily implied even when effects occur across co-acting individuals and that how the task is divided between co-actors plays an important role in determining whether effects occur between co-actors.
  • Metaphors we learn by: Directed motor action improves word learning
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Daniel Casasanto, Angela de Bruin Can performing simple motor actions help people learn the meanings of words' Here we show that placing vocabulary flashcards in particular locations after studying them helps students learn the definitions of novel words with positive or negative emotional valence. After studying each card, participants placed it on one of two shelves (top or bottom), according to its valence. Participants who were instructed to place positive cards on the top shelf and negative cards on the bottom shelf, consistent with metaphors that link “good” with “up,” remembered the words’ definitions better than participants who followed the opposite spatial mapping, and better than control participants who placed all of the cards on the desktop. Saying “up” and “down” after studying the cards was ineffective, suggesting a privileged role for motor action in activating space-valence associations that partly constitute the meanings of emotionally charged words. These results provide a first demonstration that mental metaphors can be activated strategically to improve (or impair) word learning: We call this the strategic use of mental metaphor (SUMM) effect. Even when multiple factors known to enhance encoding of verbal materials into long-term memory were matched across conditions (e.g., study time, repetition, distinctiveness, depth of processing), metaphor-congruent motor actions led to better elaborated, more durable memories.
  • Revealing abstract semantic mechanisms through priming: The
           distributive/collective contrast
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Mora Maldonado, Emmanuel Chemla, Benjamin Spector Sentences such as The bags are light allow both collective (they are light together) and distributive interpretations (each bag is light). We report the results of two experiments showing that this collective/distributive contrast gives rise to priming effects. These findings suggest that collective and distributive readings involve different interpretative mechanisms, which are at play during real comprehension and can be targeted by priming, independently of the specific verification strategy associated with each interpretation.
  • Being fast or slow at naming depends on recency of experience
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Tao Wei, Tatiana T. Schnur The speed with which we produce words (e.g., dog) changes depending on whether a word named in the past is from the same semantic category (e.g., cat) or not (e.g., vase). Strikingly, whereas earlier studies find that producing semantically related words speeds up subsequent naming, recent studies report that it slows down future naming. It is unclear why the same experience results in opposite effects and whether both effects originate within the language system. Using the same picture naming paradigm and materials, we manipulated the interval between two naming events, while reducing the influence of expectation. We observed facilitation when semantically related pictures were presented adjacently. By contrast, when semantically related pictures were separated by two unrelated pictures, interference was observed. The results suggest that both facilitation and interference effects emerge within the language system where changes are critically based on the interval between naming, rather than solely due to peripheral processes associated with task demands.
  • Sensitivity to pain expectations: A Bayesian model of individual
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): R. Hoskin, C. Berzuini, D. Acosta-Kane, W. El-Deredy, H. Guo, D. Talmi The thoughts and feelings people have about pain (referred to as ‘pain expectations’) are known to alter the perception of pain. However little is known about the cognitive processes that underpin pain expectations, or what drives the differing effect that pain expectations have between individuals. This paper details the testing of a model of pain perception which formalises the response to pain in terms of a Bayesian prior-to-posterior updating process. Using data acquired from a short and deception-free predictive cue task, it was found that this Bayesian model predicted ratings of pain better than other, simpler models. At the group level, the results confirmed two core predictions of predictive coding; that expectation alters perception, and that increased uncertainty in the expectation reduces its impact on perception. The addition of parameters relating to trait differences in pain expectation improved the fit of the model, suggesting that such traits play a significant role in perception above and beyond the influence of expectations triggered by predictive cues. When the model parameters were allowed to vary by participant, the model’s fit improved further. This final model produced a characterisation of each individual's sensitivity to pain expectations. This model is relevant for the understanding of the cognitive basis of pain expectations and could potentially act as a useful tool for guiding patient stratification and clinical experimentation.
  • Temporal expectancies and rhythmic cueing in touch: The influence of
           spatial attention
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Alexander Jones Attention resources can be allocated in both space and time. Exogenous temporal attention can be driven by rhythmic events in our environment which automatically entrain periods of attention. Temporal expectancies can also be generated by the elapse of time, leading to foreperiod effects (the longer between a cue and imperative target, the faster the response). This study investigates temporal attention in touch and the influence of spatial orienting. In experiment 1, participants used bilateral tactile cues to orient endogenous spatial attention to the left or right hand where a unilateral tactile target was presented. This facilitated response times for attended over unattended targets. In experiment 2, the cue was unilateral and non-predictive of the target location resulting in inhibition of return. Importantly, the cue was rhythmic and targets were presented early, in synchrony or late in relation to the rhythmic cue. A foreperiod effect was observed in experiment 1 that was independent from any spatial attention effects. In experiment 2, in synchrony were slower compared to out of synchrony targets but only for cued and not uncued targets, suggesting the rhythm generates periods of exogenous inhibition. Taken together, temporal and spatial attention interact in touch, but only when both types of attention are exogenous. If the task requires endogenous spatial orienting, space and time are independent.
  • Weighing outcome vs. intent across societies: How cultural models of mind
           shape moral reasoning
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Rita Anne McNamara, Aiyana K. Willard, Ara Norenzayan, Joseph Henrich Mental state reasoning has been theorized as a core feature of how we navigate our social worlds, and as especially vital to moral reasoning. Judgments of moral wrong-doing and punish-worthiness often hinge upon evaluations of the perpetrator’s mental states. In two studies, we examine how differences in cultural conceptions about how one should think about others’ minds influence the relative importance of intent vs. outcome in moral judgments. We recruit participation from three societies, differing in emphasis on mental state reasoning: Indigenous iTaukei Fijians from Yasawa Island (Yasawans) who normatively avoid mental state inference in favor of focus on relationships and consequences of actions; Indo-Fijians who normatively emphasize relationships but do not avoid mental state inference; and North Americans who emphasize individual autonomy and interpreting others’ behaviors as the direct result of mental states. In study 1, Yasawan participants placed more emphasis on outcome than Indo-Fijians or North Americans by judging accidents more harshly than failed attempts. Study 2 tested whether underlying differences in the salience of mental states drives study 1 effects by inducing Yasawan and North American participants to think about thoughts vs. actions before making moral judgments. When induced to think about thoughts, Yasawan participants shifted to judge failed attempts more harshly than accidents. Results suggest that culturally-transmitted concepts about how to interpret the social world shape patterns of moral judgments, possibly via mental state inference.
  • Are visual processes causally involved in “perceptual simulation”
           effects in the sentence-picture verification task'
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Markus Ostarek, Dennis Joosen, Adil Ishag, Monique de Nijs, Falk Huettig Many studies have shown that sentences implying an object to have a certain shape produce a robust reaction time advantage for shape-matching pictures in the sentence-picture verification task. Typically, this finding has been interpreted as evidence for perceptual simulation, i.e., that access to implicit shape information involves the activation of modality-specific visual processes. It follows from this proposal that disrupting visual processing during sentence comprehension should interfere with perceptual simulation and obliterate the match effect. Here we directly test this hypothesis. Participants listened to sentences while seeing either visual noise that was previously shown to strongly interfere with basic visual processing or a blank screen. Experiments 1 and 2 replicated the match effect but crucially visual noise did not modulate it. When an interference technique was used that targeted high-level semantic processing (Experiment 3) however the match effect vanished. Visual noise specifically targeting high-level visual processes (Experiment 4) only had a minimal effect on the match effect. We conclude that the shape match effect in the sentence-picture verification paradigm is unlikely to rely on perceptual simulation.
  • Contextual priming of word meanings is stabilized over sleep
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): M. Gareth Gaskell, Scott A. Cairney, Jennifer M. Rodd Evidence is growing for the involvement of consolidation processes in the learning and retention of language, largely based on instances of new linguistic components (e.g., new words). Here, we assessed whether consolidation effects extend to the semantic processing of highly familiar words. The experiments were based on the word-meaning priming paradigm in which a homophone is encountered in a context that biases interpretation towards the subordinate meaning. The homophone is subsequently used in a word-association test to determine whether the priming encounter facilitates the retrieval of the primed meaning. In Experiment 1 (N = 74), we tested the resilience of priming over periods of 2 and 12 h that were spent awake or asleep, and found that sleep periods were associated with stronger subsequent priming effects. In Experiment 2 (N = 55) we tested whether the sleep benefit could be explained in terms of a lack of retroactive interference by testing participants 24 h after priming. Participants who had the priming encounter in the evening showed stronger priming effects after 24 h than participants primed in the morning, suggesting that sleep makes priming resistant to interference during the following day awake. The results suggest that consolidation effects can be found even for highly familiar linguistic materials. We interpret these findings in terms of a contextual binding account in which all language perception provides a learning opportunity, with sleep and consolidation contributing to the updating of our expectations, ready for the next day.
  • Revisiting the bilingual lexical deficit: The impact of age of acquisition
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Emanuel Bylund, Niclas Abrahamsson, Kenneth Hyltenstam, Gunnar Norrman Whereas the cognitive advantages brought about by bilingualism have recently been called into question, the so-called ‘lexical deficit’ in bilinguals is still largely taken for granted. Here, we argue that, in analogy with cognitive advantages, the lexical deficit does not apply across the board of bilinguals, but varies as a function of acquisition trajectory. To test this, we implement a novel methodological design, where the variables of bilingualism and first/second language status have been fully crossed in four different groups. While the results confirm effects of bilingualism on lexical proficiency and processing, they show more robust effects of age of acquisition. We conclude that the traditional view of the linguistic costs of bilingualism need to give way to a new understanding of lexical development in which age of acquisition is seen as a major determinant.
  • Critical features for face recognition
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Naphtali Abudarham, Lior Shkiller, Galit Yovel Face recognition is a computationally challenging task that humans perform effortlessly. Nonetheless, this remarkable ability is better for familiar faces than unfamiliar faces. To account for humans’ superior ability to recognize familiar faces, current theories suggest that different features are used for the representation of familiar and unfamiliar faces. In the current study, we applied a reverse engineering approach to reveal which facial features are critical for familiar face recognition. In contrast to current views, we discovered that the same subset of features that are used for matching unfamiliar faces, are also used for matching as well as recognition of familiar faces. We further show that these features are also used by a deep neural network face recognition algorithm. We therefore propose a new framework that assumes similar perceptual representation for all faces and integrates cognition and perception to account for humans’ superior recognition of familiar faces.
  • Working memory training and perceptual discrimination training impact
           overlapping and distinct neurocognitive processes: Evidence from
           event-related potentials and transfer of training gains
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Thomas J. Covey, Janet L. Shucard, David W. Shucard There is emerging evidence that working memory (WM) can potentially be enhanced via targeted training protocols. However, the differential effects of targeted training of WM vs. training of general attentional processes on distinct neurocognitive mechanisms is not well understood. In the present study, we compared adaptive n-back WM training to an adaptive visual search training task that targeted perceptual discrimination, in the absence of demands on WM. The search task was closely matched to the n-back task on difficulty and participant engagement. The training duration for both protocols was 20 sessions over approximately 4 weeks. Before and after training, young adult participants were tested on a battery of cognitive tasks to examine transfer of training gains to untrained tests of WM, processing speed, cognitive control, and fluid intelligence. Event-related brain potential (ERP) measures obtained during a Letter 3-Back task and a Search task were examined to determine the neural processes that were affected by each training protocol. Both groups improved on measures of cognitive control and fluid intelligence at post- compared to pretest. However, n-back training resulted in more pronounced transfer effects to tasks involving WM compared to search training. With respect to ERPs, both groups exhibited enhancement of P3 amplitude following training, but distinct changes in neural responses were also observed for the two training protocols. The search training group exhibited earlier ERP latencies at post- compared to pretest on the Search task, indicating generalized improvement in processing speed. The n-back group exhibited a pronounced enhancement and earlier latency of the N2 ERP component on the Letter 3-back task, following training. Given the theoretical underpinnings of the N2, this finding was interpreted as an enhancement of conflict monitoring and sequential mismatch identification. The findings provide evidence that n-back training enhances distinct neural processes underlying executive aspects of WM.
  • Attention rapidly reorganizes to naturally occurring structure in a novel
           activity sequence
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Jessica E. Kosie, Dare Baldwin Fluent event processing involves selectively attending to information-rich regions within dynamically unfolding sensory streams (e.g., Newtson, 1973). What counts as information-rich likely depends on numerous factors, however, including overall event novelty and local opportunity for repeated viewing. Using Hard, Recchia, and Tversky’s (2011) method, we investigated the extent to which these two variables affected viewers’ attentional patterns as events unfolded. Specifically, we recorded viewers’ “dwell times” as they advanced through two slideshows depicting distinct methods of shoelace tying varying in novelty but equated on other dimensions. Across two experiments, novelty sparked increased dwelling overall, and viewers’ dwelling patterns displayed rapid and systematic reorganization to structure within the activity stream after just one viewing of distinctively novel content. As well, increased dwelling positively predicted memory performance. These findings newly illuminate reorganization in attention as relevant information within novel activity sequences is quickly incorporated to guide event processing and support event memory.
  • Non-linguistic effects of language switching training
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Kalinka Timmer, Marco Calabria, Albert Costa What is the relationship between bilingual language control (BLC) mechanisms and domain-general executive control (EC) processes' Do these two domains share some of their mechanisms' Here, we take a novel approach to this question, investigating whether short-term language switching training improves non-linguistic task switching performance. Two groups of bilinguals were assigned to two different protocols; one group was trained in language switching (switching-task training group) another group was trained in blocked language picture naming (single-block training group). Both groups performed a non-linguistic and linguistic switching task before (pre-training) and after training (post-training). Non-linguistic and linguistic switch costs decreased to a greater extent for the switching-task training than for the single-block training group from pre- to post-training. In contrast, mixing costs showed similar reductions for both groups. This suggests short-term language switching training can transfer to the non-linguistic domain for certain sub-mechanisms (i.e., switch cost). Thus, there is some overlap of the control mechanisms across domains.
  • Gestalt similarity groupings are not constructed in parallel
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Dian Yu, Derek Tam, Steven L. Franconeri Our visual system organizes spatially distinct areas with similar features into perceptual groups. To better understand the underlying mechanism of grouping, one route is to study its capacity and temporal progression. Intuitively, that capacity seems unlimited, and the temporal progression feels immediate. In contrast, here we show that in a visual search task that requires similarity grouping, search performance is consistent with serial processing of those groups. This was true across several experiments, for seeking a single ungrouped pair among grouped pairs, vice versa, and for displays with tiny spacings between the grouped items. In a control condition that ruled out display complexity confounds, when the small inter-object spacing was removed so that that pairs touched, removing the need to group by similarity, search became parallel. Why is similarity grouping so slow to develop' We argue that similarity grouping is 'just' feature selection - seeing a red, bright, or square group is global selection of those features. This account predicts serial processing of one feature group at a time, and makes new falsifiable predictions about how properties of feature-based selection should be reflected in similarity grouping.
  • Statistical learning and spelling: Evidence from Brazilian prephonological
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 182Author(s): Rebecca Treiman, Cláudia Cardoso-Martins, Tatiana Cury Pollo, Brett Kessler We analyzed the spelling attempts of Brazilian children (age 3 years, 3 months to 6 years, 0 months) who were prephonological spellers, in that they wrote using letters that did not reflect the phonemes in the words they were asked to spell. We tested the hypothesis that children use their statistical-learning skills to learn about the appearance of writing and that older prephonological spellers, who have had on average more exposure to writing, produce more wordlike spellings than younger prephonological spellers. We found that older prephonological spellers produced longer spellings and were more likely to use letters and digrams in proportion to their frequency of occurrence in Portuguese. There were also some age-related differences in children’s tendency to use letters from their own names when writing other words. The results extend previous findings with learners of English to children who are learning a more transparent orthography.
  • Lazy, not biased: Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained
           by lack of reasoning than by motivated reasoning
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 June 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Gordon Pennycook, David G. Rand Why do people believe blatantly inaccurate news headlines (“fake news”)' Do we use our reasoning abilities to convince ourselves that statements that align with our ideology are true, or does reasoning allow us to effectively differentiate fake from real regardless of political ideology' Here we test these competing accounts in two studies (total N = 3446 Mechanical Turk workers) by using the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) as a measure of the propensity to engage in analytical reasoning. We find that CRT performance is negatively correlated with the perceived accuracy of fake news, and positively correlated with the ability to discern fake news from real news – even for headlines that align with individuals’ political ideology. Moreover, overall discernment was actually better for ideologically aligned headlines than for misaligned headlines. Finally, a headline-level analysis finds that CRT is negatively correlated with perceived accuracy of relatively implausible (primarily fake) headlines, and positively correlated with perceived accuracy of relatively plausible (primarily real) headlines. In contrast, the correlation between CRT and perceived accuracy is unrelated to how closely the headline aligns with the participant’s ideology. Thus, we conclude that analytic thinking is used to assess the plausibility of headlines, regardless of whether the stories are consistent or inconsistent with one’s political ideology. Our findings therefore suggest that susceptibility to fake news is driven more by lazy thinking than it is by partisan bias per se – a finding that opens potential avenues for fighting fake news.
  • I know why you voted for Trump: (Over)inferring motives based on choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 May 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Kate Barasz, Tami Kim, Ioannis Evangelidis People often speculate about why others make the choices they do. This paper investigates how such inferences are formed as a function of what is chosen. Specifically, when observers encounter someone else’s choice (e.g., of political candidate), they use the chosen option’s attribute values (e.g., a candidate’s specific stance on a policy issue) to infer the importance of that attribute (e.g., the policy issue) to the decision-maker. Consequently, when a chosen option has an attribute whose value is extreme (e.g., an extreme policy stance), observers infer—sometimes incorrectly—that this attribute disproportionately motivated the decision-maker’s choice. Seven studies demonstrate how observers use an attribute’s value to infer its weight—the value-weight heuristic—and identify the role of perceived diagnosticity: more extreme attribute values give observers the subjective sense that they know more about a decision-maker’s preferences, and in turn, increase the attribute’s perceived importance. The paper explores how this heuristic can produce erroneous inferences and influence broader beliefs about decision-makers.
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